Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Scan Day

I can tell it is scan day because I always get up at the crack of dawn, in a fit of can’t-sleep-anymore insomnia. So by 4:00 a.m I was up and ready to start the day. And my appointment was NINE hours from then. At 1:00 p.m. That's a lot of worry time.

Right off the bat I knew it was going to be a pleasant experience because I didn’t have Attila the Technician. Finally. Instead, I had this lovely woman who called me Sweetie and answered all of my questions.

I’m happy to report that 1.) both babies are indeed still there and 2.) both have beating little hearts and 3.) both are sonogram superstars. They are in a T formation. They both weigh the same exact amount: 1 pound 11 ounces and are measuring just fine for their age. And my cervix is 4.3, which is great, according to my doctor and the technician. Baby A kept turning from the probe so I only ended up with one picture of her. We did see her drinking the amniotic fluid though, and playing with her hands in front of her face. (hand-in-face picture is above!) Baby B was more than happy to oblige for pictures. We even got one of her yawning! (that is the above picture.) Next to thumb-sucking, that is the one thing I really wanted to see with at least one baby in utero. I am so grateful that everything went well. And I am fully aware that this can all change in a second. But for now, all’s fine and that’s great.

I’ll be back in worry mode in 10, 9, 8, 7……….

Nicole wasn’t there and she is in meetings all day so I can’t even share the news with her. I have been instructed only to call her work cell in the event of an emergency. Babies Are OK doesn’t have the same urgency as, say, some of our other adventures, so I am trying not to abuse my work cell call privileges. For me, picking up gummi bears on the walk home from work is an emergency. Not so much for her.

Baby A, the one who was drinking the amniotic fluid, is probably addicted to Dr. Pepper. Nicole bought a case of it for me, and I am drinking it like it’s my job. Some of it must end up in the amniotic fluid. Nicole fully realizes my lack of self control in situations like this, but she went ahead and bought it anyway. She said that I can only have two a day. Ha! Two is, in fact, more than generous, since I should be having zero. But anyway…I told her I blame her for this new addiction. After all, all I drink is water and orange juice. She introduced this poison into our home. And that Dr. Pepper is like this delicious, exotic, wonderful, amazing break from the monotony of water water water oj more water water and more water.

I told Nicole this and her response was: “You can have a V8. No one is stopping you from having a V8,” with a tad, dare I say, of exasperation. I could have the healthy vegetable juice, but I push aside those 8 vegetables and 100 percent of your daily allowance of whatever in favor of the nectar of the gods. Chemistry’s candy.

Now I am exhausted from my full day of worrying. I’d like to take a long nap but I have a 40-page paper to pound out by Friday. And it is a balmy 40-something degrees here in New York so I have spring fever, which inevitably brings with it an inability to concentrate….

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wired and Tired

That’s the last time I have Dr. Pepper twice in one day. I indulged in exactly two Dr. Peppers today: One at lunch and one at an Oscar party. I stopped drinking soda years ago, when we started this TTC journey, except for occasional indulgences like today and on nights that I have class. And now it is 2:30 in the morning and I just can’t sleep. I am wired and so are the babies. They are punching and kicking with caffeinated abandon, which I don’t mind at all, because it is always good to feel like they are still in there.

But I am so exhausted and just want to sleep.

Sleep, anyway, just isn’t what it used to be. I sleep on my side, but I have to switch sides quite frequently because my hips start to tingle and get numb. So over I flip, taking Body Pillow with me, and disrupting the natural order of the covers. Just when I get comfortable, I have to go to the bathroom. And the cycle continues, until I fall into a fitful sleep and then have crazy vivid dreams. Last night, dreams included that I was a crab scurrying down sand dunes; another one featured Rosie O’Donnell as my neighbor; and another included me partying at a club, going into the bathroom and seeing that it was full of bowls of prescription meds that were free for the taking…I scooped up handfuls and handfuls of my favorite OTC sleep aid. Perhaps that was a foreshadow of tonight? And Freuds out there with theories?

This whole pregnancy is now taking on a life of its own. I can no longer sit back and wait for something bad to happen and coast along without doing much. I am so not a procrastinator, and yet, here I am, procrastinating. Stuff needs to be done. The room needs to be built (almost there) and furnished. Things need to be bought. Clothes need to be organized. Arrangements have to be made. Lawyers need to be contacted (oh, yes, the joys of the babies’ mother having to go through the hassle of adopting her own children…don’t get me started on this….). Closets need to be cleaned out (both real and metaphorical). Birthing classes need to signed up for. I feel like I should read at least one book on how to get babies to sleep on a good schedule. And maybe a parenting book too. A party needs to be planned. We spent almost all day on Saturday creating homemade shower invitations. We need to move forward, which requires faith and trust and a belief that everything is going to work out just fine. It really is just terrifying. It makes me feel so pathetic that I just can’t relax already.

I am six months today. 24 weeks. It blows my mind. Today for the first time someone on the subway offered me his seat. Actually, this was a double act of kindness: After the nice man vacated the seat for me to sit in, another woman made a beeline for the empty seat. But then a second woman told the woman that the seat was for me. Another pregnancy first.

Some random things:

• I have two huge painful cold sores on my lip. Two. Throbbing, painful, ugly cold sores. As my friend Tim said, they have their own heartbeats. Ugh.
• We had dinner with two good friends on Saturday night, which always makes me wonder why we don’t make huge efforts to do things like that EVERY night. Life is so much better when spending time with people you love.
• It’s snowing right now but I’m sure it will just make a slushy mess by morning.
• I’m hungry. And it’s been almost three days since my last Gummi Bear attack.
• Three more sleeps till the next Level II ultrasound. And once again that old familiar terror creeps in.
• Bullet lists are SO much easier than paragraphs when you are tired.

Pictured above is me at 24 weeks. Notice how I attempt to flatten my butt by pressing it against the wall? Does it fool anyone? And I so need a haircut. Also pictured is our weekend project: Making the invitations. That picture reinforces that I really, really dislike the color of that wall. It is called something like "Elephant Tusk," which I guess should translate into a warm ivory color. It just looks like prison beige. But Nicole has already announced that there will be no more painting in this apartment for a while. So live with it I must.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Home Sweet (Almost) Home

I survived the first phase of the contractor. He has packed up his things (including his radio which played awful soft jazz music all day long) and moved out of our place. He still has to come back to hang the new door (we have a “dummy” door while we wait for our special-order-takes-too-long-to-come-door) and add some trim and various other small things that should take him, oh, six days, but we are finally getting our home back to normal. The living room sorely needs some pictures on the walls, and we need to get a table for all the cable and TV accoutrements and multitude of wires (now seen on that high table in the middle of the two chairs). And now the coffee table seems rather large for our truncated living room, but oh well. The wall is up and there is a room for two babies and that is what matters right now.

Their room has (or will have) three things that I am morally opposed to: wall-to-wall carpet, a ceiling fan and pink walls. Is this what they mean about parental sacrifice?

We ordered their cribs and bought a dresser and a hamper already. It makes me so nervous because still fear that something can go tragically array. A pop culture reference: I read that Marcia Cross gave birth to her twins yesterday. She was due in April. It is February. That seems v-e-r-y early. At least two months. My doctor said that I won’t go past 38 weeks, but I am beginning to think I will be lucky to even get that far. My friend Jen had a picture-perfect pregnancy, and her water broke at 31 weeks. She spent three and a half weeks in the hospital on bed rest and then delivered two healthy babies (that had to spend some time in the NICU, though).

In fact, now that I am not stressing about the contractor, I have lots of free time to worry about the babies’ health. My next sonogram is six days from now, when I will be in the middle of Week 24. The little kicks and punches are reassuring, but only when they come at regular intervals. When I haven’t felt anything in a while, I start to unravel just a little bit. I’m ashamed to admit that I will prod my stomach in attempts to “wake them up.” Yesterday I was out with my friend Annie and we went for cake. I though for certain the sugar rush would wake them up and get them going, but they were peacefully sleeping (or something). I started to panic just a little when I felt a couple of pops, right in the nick of time, before I went into full-on panic mode.

Are there any people who float through pregnancy with little to no worry?

It’s just that there are no guarantees and as each day passes by I get a little more excited and then a lot more afraid. I really just want to reach that age of viability, and I am not really certain of when that is with twins. Certainly it can’t be 24 weeks, like it is with singletons. Maybe 30 weeks, or 32 weeks or 28.

It’s hard being so negative and scared all the time. I wish I could just sorta fall asleep and wake up with two healthy pink babies in my arms.

Above picture is the new truncated living room.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Slouching Toward a Babies’ Room

I just don’t have the energy to complain about the contractor. The thing is, he is a really nice guy. Kind, considerate, helpful, friendly. I have nothing against him as a person. But as our contractor, well, that’s different. He is awful at pacing his work and has no concept of deadlines. He was at our apartment until 9:00 pm on Friday night (luckily I was at class until 9:30) and still didn’t finish everything. He is coming back on Tuesday, and then again in about a week…and the saga continues.

Since the contractor didn’t get around to painting, today was painting day for us. We painted the new living room wall and the hall wall. And we painted the babies’ room. (For the record, I was masked and well ventilated and used sparingly against Nicole’s will.) We selected a very demure and understated pink called Candy Stripe. On paper, it looked more white than pink and seemed perfect. On the wall it looked like a neon 80s Pepto-esque nightmare. It was a color that doesn’t occur in nature. Ever. This meant I had to trek back to the store and buy a second gallon in a different, softer pink. Peony Pink is a thousand times better. It still seems pinker than what it looked like on paper, but it is a nice, warm color. It took us all day to paint everything, but, more to the point, it would have taken the contractor six days.

Tomorrow I am 23 weeks. I am well aware of the viability goal date of 24 weeks but am not sure if that applies to twins too. Still, 23 weeks. That is a long time. I can’t believe I am almost six months. Nicole felt Baby B this morning. She (Baby B, that is) was kicking up a storm for a change, since she normally punches me with her mini hand. When Nicole took her hand away she stopped. It’s like they have little personalities already.

I feel them moving and kicking…their room is coming together…I need to sign up for a birthing class….I feel like I am living someone else’s life. But I look at my ever-expanding body and realize that this really is happening to me.

For the record, I am getting really, really big.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

And Another Thing….

I thought once I was pregnant that was life would be magically blissful. After all, the one thing standing between me and Total Happiness (so I thought) was a baby. So once I got pregnant, I would turn into this Zen, perfectly balanced, happy, optimistic person. I might even take up regular yoga. Traffic wouldn’t be awful anymore; I would just turn up the music and spend some quality time with my unborn child. I wouldn’t mind waiting ten minutes for a subway to come. The bitter cold winter wind wouldn’t bother me a bit. I would befriend telemarketers who call at 8:30 at night. I wouldn’t mind being put on hold for twenty minutes when I call my insurance company. I would easily dodge the slings and arrows of daily life because I had a baby growing inside me.

Turns out being pregnant just isn’t the panacea that I thought it would be.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not in least ungrateful or unappreciative of being pregnant. One thing, I can say with conviction, that definitely holds true is this: You feel gratitude each and every day that you are pregnant. You thank your lucky stars. Your heart breaks when you read about someone having a low fertilization rate or a failed cycle or a m/c. You feel a connection with every woman who is walking the same road (and variations thereof) as you did. Your empathy for those who are still in the position that you were just in a mere few months ago grows exponentially.

Infertility is one of those “clubs” you don’t ever want to be a member of. Like my friends who have lost a parent; another club you don’t want to be a member of. I won’t ever truly understand the depth of their grief until I go through it myself. My SIL’s mother died about a week after she gave birth to my niece. Mina had a c-section, so she was in the hospital for a few days. After that, they were rushing around to get baby Skye a passport and get over to Japan when her Mom died (she was declining for a while because the cancer spread). Her mother never got to meet her second grandchild. It breaks my heart, but, more to the point, it shattered Mina’s. I will never know her grief.

My point it this: I reached my hand (under duress, because who wants to?) into the grab bag of problems and pulled out the infertility card (among others). Why did I spend so much time shaking my fist at the sky and asking “Why me?” Why not me, I guess. We all get crappy hands. That was one of mine. And in the end, if I am lucky, I will have two babies. (But Mina will never have her mom back.)

And the truth is, being pregnant just doesn’t solve the deep-down issues like I thought it might. I still get rageful in traffic and angry when telemarketers call me late and pissed off when I have to wait on hold for a ridiculously long time, only to get accidentally hung up on. I still curse my luck if I get to the subway just as one is leaving the station. My problems didn’t magically disappear. I’m still annoyed at the contractor who is—of all things—building a bedroom for my babies. I didn’t take up yoga. In fact, I stopped my daily hour-at-the-gym routine at about 8 weeks. And I worry about how I will lose this baby weight. I guess this is what happens when you mix equal parts of gratitude and fear.

But I used to think, as I passed pregnant women on the street, that their lives were perfect. You think this world would have more empathy in it, considering we are all going through our own versions of hell at one point or another.

Above picture is my SIL and baby Skye (who's now almost two!).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Odds and Ends

About a week ago I was talking to my friend Jen about how odds/percentages really mess with your head. She had some pretty astute observations. To wit: Let’s pretend your RE tells you that you have a fifty percent chance of an IVF cycle working (and that is generous, bt let’s just suppose for simplicity’s sake). That is a coin toss. A one-in-two chance. A 50-50 shot. Do you skip home, humming to yourself that you are just a transfer away from becoming a mom? Hardly. You insist it won’t work, claim the odds are not in your favor and remain depressed until your cycle return proves you right.

But then take this scenario. You go to get your nuchal scan and you get your blood work back. And your doctor says that you have a 1 in 3,000 chance at a chromosomal abnormality. One in three thousand is by all standards a very low risk. Keep in mind that in NYC, only 337 babies are born every day. Even ten days, one of those babies will be born with a chromosomal abnormality. That is a .0003 chance of a chromosomal abnormality. That is a very tiny number. Do you go home and sleep peacefully, knowing the odds are on your side that you will have a perfectly healthy baby? No. You are positive that you are in the unlucky .0003 percent and rush into an amnio right away, which, any way you slice it, has a risk factor greater than the chance of chromosomal abnormality. (Yep, and I did an amnio, too, knowing all of this.)

These odds fuck with your head.

I know I am beating a dead horse here and perhaps preaching to the choir, but it is so hard after such a long road to wake up on the positive side of things. No matter how slim the odds are of something bad happening, I find a way to squeeze myself in that tiny space and live there, if only for a moment, and sometimes for days and days.

I justify this insanity by clinging to the notion that I was somehow wrong and na├»ve to embrace pregnancy the first time around. After all, I was over the moon the first time I was pregnant, already shopping at baby stores at just six weeks and rubbing my non-existent belly. I felt invincible: We took so long to get here, so nothing bad could possibly happen. Ha. That m/c hit me like a freight train. Infertility’s cruel joke: It takes you forever to get pregnant and then your baby dies. And the second m/c was twice as hard. And the third: Suffice it to say that it is a slight miracle that I endured it and that my relationship came through—stronger, I’d like to think—than before.

I read in a book that if you overfeed one sense you are most likely starving another. You can interpret that in so many ways, but for me I saw it as this: I spent all of my time trying to have a baby that I neglected every other part of my life. I was convinced my life was a waste without children. I thought my life had no meaning without children. I though Nicole and I would never be a family.

It was a slow process, but eventually the lessons sank in. Nicole and I already were a family, and to act like it was incomplete was disrespectful of what we had. My life wasn’t a waste. And I will be fulfilled, with or without children. Children won’t fill a hole in my life; they can only enhance it.

And then we did IVF for the third time and, magically, it worked. Maybe it was because there were things that I needed to learn before I could become a mother (if the universe really works that way). Or it was just random coin-toss luck.

Where is all this coming from? I’m not sure. Maybe because that fear is still in me and not a single day passes without some visit to that dark place. Maybe it’s because I spent more than 24 hours thinking about baby furniture and baby showers and due dates. I just picked out a lighting fixture for the babies’ room. Right now, I’m trying to feel the good, to embrace the light, to feel the joy of pregnancy and not just the fear. But I can’t shake the feeling that bad things have happened when I let myself go there before. It’s sad, because before I know it, June will be here and I will have spent all these months not living the joy.

Above picture is my 22 week belly (measuring at 27.5 weeks) in the doorway of what will be the babies' room.

Monday, February 12, 2007

All Quiet on the Uterus Front

I have been so bent out of shape these past couple of weeks with contractor hell that I haven’t even had time to dwell on my upcoming doctor’s appointment, much less count down the days. I had one this morning and am so relieved that everything is going just fine (knock on wood). Both babies are breech, but this, of course, can change in the coming weeks. Or not: The doctor said the babies just might get comfortable the way they are and not move a bit. I am 22 weeks 1 day, but I am measuring 27 and a half weeks, which my doctor assures me is normal with twins. My blood pressure is still very low: 80 over 52. At least I have an excuse for being so very tired all the time. And today was the first day that I got measured with the belly tape measure. It was an exciting thing for me.

Baby A is the one kicking my left side with her mini legs. The softer taps I feel on my right side is Baby B punching me with her little hands, I am not feeling any hard kicks on my left side because Baby B’s legs are aimed straight at her sister, so Baby A is taking a hit for the team. It is my favorite thing in the world right now, feeling them punch and kick. Last night the planets aligned for the second time (or is it third?) and I felt both Baby A kick and Baby B punch at the same time. Seriously….what are the chances?

Nicole came back from San Francisco with gifts of sourdough bread and the flu. She is actually home from work today, which is so rare for her. She never takes sick days, ever. She has the best immune system of anyone I know. She never gets whatever I get (I get sick all the time). She has the full range of symptoms and sounds awful. I have hand sanitizer and spray and I am washing my hands like crazy. My doctor assures me that nothing bad will happen even if I get the flu. Other than misery, of course.

I don’t think she should go to work at all this week, but she thinks she will be fine by Wednesday. I rather enjoy having her around, especially when the contractor is here. Instant playmate, though she is not very active and is on the lethargic side. We are holed up in the bedroom. I was able to take a nap. She spoke with the contractor and he is getting work done for a change. I am amazed that even in sick clothes with sick voice and sick hair, people still listen to her. (Though he did take a long coffee break.) But he is actually using power tools and making progress.

I went away for the weekend with some friends, which is also why I was too distracted to count down the days till my next doctor’s visit. Four of us went to Saratoga for the night, a three and a half hours drive away from the city. It was supposed to by 5, but my friend Molly got snowed in with all that upstate snow. Well, she wasn’t snowed in, but the towns between her and us were. It was great to get away and we had so much fun, but I was still so exhausted. By mid-afternoon, I felt like a balloon losing all my air. I went back to the hotel with one of my friends and ate cake and relaxed, but there was no burst of energy.

These sort of events (getaways and such) have an air of finality about them: Like this is the last trip I will take with friends before the babies are born. I now feel this nervous energy; I need to plan plan plan and get in as much as possible before late May/early June. My brother and sister-in-law just bought a boat, and I am so excited. Both my brother and I spent several years on our 20s living on boats, so this is like getting a little gift from the past back. And then it occurred to me: With babies born in late May or June, when did I think I would be going out on a boat?! It’s not that life stops when you have kids, but things really do change. But I am so ready for that change. And excited. For almost the first time in this pregnancy I am beginning to feel like maybe just maybe everything is going to work out.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Yeah, of COURSE, This Happens To Me

So I thought the contractor had left today for good. After all, it was past 5:00 and he had completed his one task for the day (put some plaster on the seams and nails on the new bedroom wall). He also left plaster footprints and splatter all over our wood floors, so I took out the mop and bucket and took off my shirt and started mopping it all clean. Yes, I tend to clean in my bra/bathing suit top/tank top, which I know sounds weird, but to me is just habit. Especially when the heat is cranking in this apartment, which is all of the time. And the apartment was a steam room tonight.

I am on the phone with my friend Jen, who is on her way to my apartment, mopping up the plaster prints in my Newly Giant bra when I hear the keys in the door lock and I hear the door start to open. And it isn’t Nicole, of course, as she in San Francisco. Let’s recap: I am in my bra and I am all the way by the babies’ door. My sweater is in the kitchen, where I left it. There are exactly NO options of cover-up. I ran through the living room, through the entry way and hall and into my bedroom (dodging pieces of wood and tools and sheet rock and misplaced pieces of furniture) in two seconds FLAT. My heart was beating so fast!

Meanwhile, I mentioned none of this to Jen while she continued with her story (how she didn’t hear me panting/running/panicking, I don’t know), while I threw on one of Nicole’s sweaters and walked/sauntered back out in the living room all casual as if nothing happened. The contactor said good-bye, said he’d be here again tomorrow around 9:00, and went on his merry way.

Can I just say that he normally rings the bell before he just uses his key to come in. Why he didn’t at this point, I don’t know. But it was a very close call.

Close-call aside, Jen came over and we went to the opera, which I’d like to think the babies liked because they were kicking again, even the usually muffled top baby. But Jen pointed out that they tend to move more when I slow down, which makes sense. And here I thought the babies were developing an appreciation/preference for certain types of music. In reality, I don’t think they can even hear anything yet.

And Jen said that I looked much bigger than when she saw me last. And that was just two weeks ago. Two weeks ago. My belly is going through a growth spurt.

Four more cold and lonely sleeps (sigh) till Nicole comes home.

Whine, Whine, Whine

I want our contractor’s job. He shows up around 10:30; drops off some “things” (I have no idea what is in the bags he carries) and goes out to get his morning Startbuck’s fix. He comes back around, say, 11:30. Then he sets up the radio and lights and other important things. He gets to work around noon, which is dangerously close to lunch time, so another work stoppage for food is just around the corner. He takes smoke breaks and lots of time-outs to “talk with the super” about such things as the location of the juncture box and power issues.

The contractor is a perfectly nice, harmless and polite man. I have nothing against him per se. I am just ready for him to be done.

This whole endeavor was to take about two weeks, tops. The wall itself was to take a mere two day, tops. We are on Day 9. And the wall still isn’t quite done. I STILL say my nephew could finish this wall in a few hours, and he is only 4.

Plus, I need to leave the apartment when he is here. This weather certainly isn’t making this easy on me. Yesterday I went to New jersey to order the door for the room. I stopped at my brother’s house to eat lunch and nap on his couch. But my niece keep saying “Up, Jen-Jen,” in her attempt to keep me paying attention to her. But she would punctuate this with a kiss, so how can I resist her? But I am exhausted. Exhausted.

So not only is our home turned upside down, the contractor managed to blow the electric, and then fix it, though he doesn’t know how he fixed it. I was his apprentice that day because he needed someone to hold flashlights pointed to the ceiling as he ripped it apart looking for junctures, and the power magically turned back on. I’m not kidding. It just came back on. After three days. The hall light is still not working though, but I am happy to sacrifice a little light there in the name of progress. He will get to that, he says, soon.

And in the process of fixing this, he blew up our cable modem. That required a trip down to the cable office in frigid weather to swap out the modem for a new one. And then the wireless router had to be reconfigured. Thank goodness Nicole can do all of that stuff, because I brought cable modem box home, opened it up, and promptly burst into tears. Alas, it was but a modem and a power cord, and I consider myself somewhat savvy about these things, but it still confused me. There are routers and phone systems and modems and cables and wires and more wires. I have Mac and Nicole has PC. There is just too much going on electronically in this apartment for me to understand.

It is 9:40 now and no contractor in sight. Funny thing is, every day he tells me “I’ll be here by 9 tomorrow.” Ha.

Anyway, I was internet-less for a few days, power-less for a few days and insane for a few days. Change that last sentence to the present continual tense.

Last night, we went to see Patty Griffin in concert. I won tickets to her record release party. It was in a really cool space down on the cusp of the Lower East Side. That was a nice break from the apartment. And it seemed to wake up both babies, who kicked me randomly through the show. I wonder if that means they can hear very loud noises. Tonight, I have tickets to my favorite opera of all time. Nicole had to go to San Francisco for work, so she is missing it. My friend Jen is taking her place, so it will still be a nice night for me, away from the disaster that is my home, and luckily the Met is only a ten-minute walk from my apartment. It is too cold to go any further.

Nicole is gone until Saturday afternoon, but I am going away for the night with some friends, so I won’t see her until Sunday. I hate when she has to travel for work. I have an unreasonable reaction to it. I am one of those people who doesn’t need a lot of away-time from my significant other. I see absolutely no need for spaces in our togetherness. I know this may seem unhealthy, but I consider it a good sign that I like spending all of my waking hours with her. Really. After all of these years, still, I want her around me all of the time. So I am in this situation now where Nicole is gone and my home is a disaster: Two things that on their own really up-end me. Add one more element and it would make the Perfect Storm for me.

I know there are bigger issues in the world and that I am being a whiny pain (I mean, really. The cysts are gone and I have two healthy babies), but something about this process really throws me. I think it harkens back to childhood home stability issues. I am very much a needer of stability. I don’t even want to move from NYC until we find the perfect home, because I only want one other home for the rest of my life, no moving from place to place. One partner; one home; lots of routines: I know this is torture for some people but for me it is the definition of happiness and stability.

And now, for something lighter, which made me smile. Here’s a snippet of my conversation with my four year-old-nephew:

Leif: Jen-Jen’s babies are so big [pointing to my chest]
Me; No, Leif, babies are down here [directing him to my stomach]
Leif: Babies are almost here!
Me: Not quite. But they will be here when the summers comes.
Leif: But where is the babies’ door? I don’t see the door?
Me: Mina? [deflecting to my SIL]
Mina: Oh, Jen-Jen will have a door probably where Mommy had a door. [she lifts her shirt to show Leif where her C-section was.]

The above picture is of my niece Skye, the one who won’t let me sleep.

And it is 10 and no contractor.

Friday, February 02, 2007

And I Am Telling You...The Cysts Are Gone!

We went in for the Level II today and received the joyous news that all cysts are gone. This is such a relief, even after the good amnio results.

Naturally, it was a stressful visit. I got there before Nicole, who was stuck in traffic across town. Of course, today I get called in ten minutes early, perhaps a first in my gynecological-related office visits history. My heart dropped when I heard “Jane-ee-fah” and looked up to see Attila the Sonogram Technician with my file. Why do we keep getting her?

I walked as slowly as possible into the room (to stall for Nicole) and spent a couple minutes in the bathroom text-messaging Nicole to buy a little more time. I emerged (after flushing, for appearance’s sake) and arranged myself slowly on the table. Attila had to figure out exactly why I was there, because she refused to believe me when I said that the doctor wanted to check on the cysts. After ten minutes of independent research (computer-checking, file-flipping, talking to another technician, talking to the roaming doctor on duty) she concluded that she needed to check for cysts.

By now it was 11 on the dot and the sonogram portion began. Nicole still wasn’t there. Attila coasted the viewer around my abdomen which such speed that I wasn’t able to determine what was what or who was who or what was where. I couldn’t even tell if the babies were asleep of awake.

Questions that I asked, which she ignored, included:
“Are they moving?”
“Is that an arm?”
“Is that the leg?”
“Is that Baby A or Baby B?”
“Where exactly are both babies laying?”

Questions I asked, which she answered, included:

Me: “Is that the head?”
Her: “No.”

Me: “Does everything look okay?”
Her: “I don’t know.”

She was, as usual, all business and seemed slightly annoyed by my mere presence. But I was so grateful to see both cyst-free brains (she at least pointed that out) that I almost could overlook Attila’s atrocious behavior. Almost.

Another exchange:

Me: “Could I please get a picture?”
Her: “I’m not going to give you a face picture.”
Me: “That’s fine! Anything would be great!!” [extra sugary sweet.]

What I got is what you see on the top of this post. In other words, I have NO idea. The worst, most non-descript, ridiculous pictures I have seen in my entire life. I see a spine and some bones but I can’t make heads or tails of these things. So much for a memento of this occasion. (sorry for the awful scan job, but the pictures themselves were tow different sizes).

And that was that. Nicole rushed in at 11:07 and the whole thing was already done. I felt so awful because Nicole looked extremely disappointed. Crestfallen might actually be the better word; she literally deflated when she say me rising from the table. She was looking forward to the baby-viewing. Another technician would have turned the machine back on for Nicole and given her a glance (after all, I was still undressed and the exam just ended). Not Attila. She was already back in her cave-like area ignoring me and willing me to leave.

I had to occupy myself out of the contractor’s way till class tonight so I went to see Dreamgirls (ehh…but worth it if only to hear/see “And I am telling you”) and in the process, panicked my friend Jen who couldn’t get in touch with me and thought something awful happened. She also left a message for Nicole in a desperate attempt to make sure All Was Fine. So while I quietly celebrated a cyst victory, she sat at home assuming the worst. So I felt awful for the second time today!

I had class tonight, and came home to a semi-dark apartment. The slacker I mean contractor managed to blow a massive fuse and knock out the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen power. And various other needed electrical outlets. He has to come in tomorrow to fix this electrical nightmare. In better news, the wall is framed and studded, with one piece of sheetrock. At least it is starting to look like a room. Or the bones of a room.

One final note: My online research told me to expect the cysts to stick around till they were 24 weeks. Our girls kicked them to the curb before week 21. Our baby girls are overachievers.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


This morning, around 6:00 am, while still lying in bed, Nicole felt Baby A kick! It is faint but you really can feel it if you press your hand on my stomach and sort of concentrate. She kicked about 10 times over the span of a few minutes. Baby B, in her own corner, kicked a couple times too, but it is too difficult to discern her little kicks because her placenta is between her feet and hands and my stomach. I’m so happy that Nicole can finally start to feel the little kicks inside me!

And now, another day wherein I become a refugee from my own home while the contractor comes. I am tired already. Hopefully he will do more than merely measure…..